Law Blog

Should I Register A Copyright in My Software?

Should I Register A Copyright in My Software?

Copyright, Intellectual Property, Software
Many software developers (as well as lawyers) focus entirely upon patent protection for the software code, oftentimes ignoring enormously valuable Copyright registration entirely. For reasons I outline in this post, Federal Copyright law is arguably the single most important legal protection available to you as a creator of software code. Copyrights explained (again) As I’ve written in earlier posts, a copyright in a work gives you an exclusive right to do a number of things with the work, such as copy, distribute, display, perform, or make adaptations to that work, among other rights. Copyright law says that no one else can do of these things with your work without your permission. Copyright protection is actually available for all copyrightable expression embodied in a computer program. Now notice how I said…
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Best Practices for Social Media Celebs and Paid Influencers after FTC v. Teami

Best Practices for Social Media Celebs and Paid Influencers after FTC v. Teami

Celebrity, Entertainment, Online Advertising, Social Media
Influencer by geralt. Pixabay License (image cropped) If you're a business that uses paid-endorsers and social media influencers as part of its marketing strategy, are you ready for elevated scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission? The recent settlement reached between the FTC and health-focused teas and skin care maker Teami, LLC offers some clarity and guidance for social media advertisers hoping to stay out of legal hot water. The Background Section 5 of The Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. § 45(a)) makes “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in interstate commerce illegal. When it comes to product or service endorsements, Section 255.0 of the FTC’s Endorsement Guides provides that the connection between advertiser and endorser must be “fully disclosed” where the connection between the endorser and the advertiser might…
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Is Your AZ Business Prepared for Coronavirus Liability?

Is Your AZ Business Prepared for Coronavirus Liability?

Liablity, Workers Compensation
As of the close of last month, more than 150 class actions had been filed relating to or stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic (Source: AdLawAccess.com). This article covers what steps your startup or small business can take to help prepare you and your company for the coming wave of COVID-19-related claims. It focuses specifically on potential Coronavirus liability from customers and third-parties and not from the company's employees, which I will discuss in a follow-up post. Have You Formed A Legal Business Entity? If you're a business owner reading this, chances are you already operate your company through a formal, legal entity, such as an S-corporation or LLC or even Limited Partnership. If not, there may be no better time than now to do so. Compared to the overall cost…
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‘Red’ Alert: After Redbox, Is It Time to Revisit Your Online Terms of Service?

‘Red’ Alert: After Redbox, Is It Time to Revisit Your Online Terms of Service?

Contracts, E-Commerce, Technology, Terms of Service
In this article, we discuss one of the more recent and interesting (or, depending on your perspective, exasperating) Federal trial court decisions looking at the enforceability of online terms of service, Wilson v. Redbox, why the case matters, key takeaways for your online business, and what it should be doing in response. A brief re-cap, Wilson, a Redbox user (amazing to think it was not that long ago that we actually went to kiosks for our movies--what a hassle!) sued the popular DVD movie rental company under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. § 227) for continuing to send automatic text messages to her phone despite her having opted out. Redbox’s "Terms of Use" (represented by hyperlinks in both its kiosk and website checkout screens require mandatory arbitration of…
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Why Your Startup Needs Bylaws

Why Your Startup Needs Bylaws

Business Formation, Corporations, Entity Formation
To help your startup succeed with as few internal complications as possible, founders should make having a set of robust corporate Bylaws a priority from the beginning. In this post, we take a look at what Bylaws are, what they do, and why your startup needs to have them in place (hint: it's the law in Arizona). What are Bylaws? While it's tempting to believe that corporate Bylaws are only for large, faceless, mega-corporations, as opposed to your lean, development-stage startup, nothing could be further from the truth. Any company (of whatever size) that chooses the corporate form through which to conduct its business should really have a well-crafted set of Bylaws in place. In a nutshell, a corporation's Bylaws are the internal guidelines that deal with how your corporation…
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